I loved this series as a whole. You could take the story line and plop it down in any timeline. The issues the sisters faced wereThe Essex Sisters
I loved this series as a whole. You could take the story line and plop it down in any timeline. The issues the sisters faced were struggles that women, and men, go through every day. Self image, alcoholism, grief. Individually, each story was great in its own right, but together the four of them create a really great series. The sisters were much like real sisters treat each other. They fought, the cried, they screamed, they cussed and they made up and loved each other still.
The orphaned, Scottish Essex sisters descend upon their ward, Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook, who is expecting four young girls, not four fully grown, beautiful women. Each of them was dowried, not with funds, but a horse from their father’s stables. To the men of the racing circuit this, combined with their beauty, makes them quite desirable.
These books can be read out of order, but together, they’re truly wonderful.
Much Ado About You (book 1) Tess and Lucius wed amid the scandal of her younger sister Imogene’s elopement and her own fiasco of a near wedding. Left at the altar, Tess agrees to marry Lucius in hopes it will quiet any rumors that might spread.
The first thing that came to my mind when I finished this book was how sweet it was. Not sickly, nauseating sweet, but the sweet that makes your heart a little lighter. The first book in a new series is always a bit difficult for me. I feel like the author is trying to introduce us to everyone and it’s hard to really get an in-depth idea of who the main characters are. There are nine main characters introduced in this first book and, while I enjoyed getting to know all of them, I wanted to know Tess and Lucius more.
Kiss Me, Annabel (book 2) Again, an Essex sister has to wed amid scandal. Annabel has a list of virtues that she requires for her husband, none of which is that of the Scottish Earl of Ardmore. Ewan has come down from the Scottish highlands to London to find a bride and quickly decides that Annabel Essex is the one for him. Because he has come to London for a bride Annabel believes him to be impoverished and, while she finds him very attractive, decides that he will not do for her. She kept the household accounts for her horse mad father and years of penny pinching have closed her mind off to love.
I loved Annabel and Ewan. They felt real, tangible. I especially loved that Annabel allowed herself to begin developing feelings for Ewan before she realized that he was quite rich. Ewan was not a “normal” hero for the time period. He came to Annabel with little knowledge of sex and how to pleasure a man. They learned together, and it made it oh so much nicer.
The Taming of the Duke (book 3) Imogen, Lady Maitland, was widowed just two short weeks after her elopement. As a result she’s become mean and hateful to all around her. Poor Rafe, who is still clinging to his duty as guardian, catches a huge brunt of it. Imogen has decided to take a lover and chooses Rafe’s newly found brother, Gabe, as her first. Gabe, however, has no interest in Imogen. He agrees to a meeting where they’re both in disguise, but Rafe goes instead.
Rafe is an alcoholic who decides that it’s time to get clean. He has a young niece to bring into society and he’s realized he has a strong hankering for Imogen, who has great disdain for his love of drink. I loved watching Rafe come from an overweight, drunk, uncaring man to the sexy, loveable Duke. There were heart wrenching parts on his path to sobriety. Imogen was there and helped without her previous derision and antagonistic tendencies. I didn’t really like her at first. She was selfish and thoughtless unless it gave her what she was after. She grew up in this story and became my second favorite of the four sisters.
The one thing that bothered me was that we never learned just when or how Imogen learned that Rafe was the man she was sneaking out and about with.
Pleasure for Pleasure (book 4) I really like how Josie’s lack of self-esteem is written. Again, it is so real and relevant to what a woman goes through. Josie is my favorite of the sisters. As the baby, she’s watched all of her sisters wed and believes that her only hope of marriage lies in scandal. She’s been given an awful nickname by the ton and a fear there’s no way to overcome it.
Garrett, Lord Mayne, has a reputation as a rake. He slept with nearly all the married women in London before deciding that he’d had enough. He’s engaged and professes great love for his fiancé but he can’t help feeling attracted to Josie who is 17 years his junior. His engagement ends on the same day that he believes Josie has been raped and he rushes for a special license so they can wed immediately.
I really loved the way Garrett showed Josie that she was a beautiful woman. It is so hard to overcome body images and how we view ourselves. Even Garrett has his own issues of inadequacy. Together, they work through their issues and fall ever so sweetly in love.
What I loved about the series:] •Feisty, independent heroines who aren't afraid to go after what they want. •Real, common issues that span time. •Sexy, alpha men. •The sex scenes were descriptive enough to be interesting without falling over into porn.
What I didn't really like: There wasn't really anything I didn't like about the series as a whole. Individually, there were little things that bothered me about each character, but it was more of a personal thing rather than literary. ...more
I was presently surprised by this new-to-me author, Alyssa Alexander. In “The Smuggler Wore Silk” we meet Julian Travers, Earl of Langford and BritishI was presently surprised by this new-to-me author, Alyssa Alexander. In “The Smuggler Wore Silk” we meet Julian Travers, Earl of Langford and British spy. After being betrayed, he discovers that the incriminating evidence originated in his boyhood home. The evidence points to Grace Hannah, a young woman living on the charity of her uncle.
Julian meets Grace as she is bent over into his oven alongside his cook/housekeeper. He immediately sets out to win her over to discover what secrets she might be hiding and Grace is instantly wary of the “Wandering Earl” and his intentions.
This story starts out with intrigue and much distrust but evolves into a sweet story with heartache and ever-conquering love. The love scenes were hot and intense and very well-written.
I am giving this story 4 of 5 stars and not only am I recommending it to my friends, I’m adding the next book in this story line to my “must have” list. ...more
Wow. Not often do I find a new author with a new book and a new series that I absolutely LOVE! Don't know HOW I'm going to wait until August for bookWow. Not often do I find a new author with a new book and a new series that I absolutely LOVE! Don't know HOW I'm going to wait until August for book 2!! ...more